Dehli quick start: 200 pop @ 18:30

Hi everyone I see a lot of comments here about how Dehli is weak early game, I’ve been having a lot of success in the early game with dehli And I believe they are one of the stronger civs early on so I’m writing the general strategy I use to hopefully help other Dehli players find early success with the civ.


  • This build is meant as a general guide and definitely would benefit from further refinement on specifics of when to build a blacksmith, when to add a second range, and the exact distribution of food/wood villagers later on.
  • requires 2 berry patches and 1 deer patch. Given you are mass producing feudal units and will have a ton of military to wall with if needed, you should have no problem securing these extra resources.
  • This maintains constant scholar production with enough mosques to garrison them and incorporates two blacksmiths.
  • I don’t think that it’s actually a good idea to go full 200pop feudal castle age and upgrades should be worth it long before that. I don’t now when that point is so I didn’t write that into the build. go up when you feel like it is a good time.
  • This build uses 0 sacred sites but in reality you should have 1-2 accelerating your eco.
  • The build I have written up is used to counter archer openings. vs early knights adapt the build to open with spears at the end of dark age.

Starting villagers:

  • 3 villagers build a lumber camp → chop wood (research forestry)
  • 1 villager builds a mosque → berries (research efficient production and then sanctity)
  • 1 villager builds a house → berries
  • 1 villager builds a mill → berries (research wheelbarrow)

Continuing on:

  • 5 villagers to berries (8 total)
  • 5 villagers to gold (5 total)
  • Build dome of faith and then a stable with 4 villagers from gold. once finished:
    • garrison starting scholar in the stable and build 8 horsemen.
    • move 3 to wood
    • move 1 back to gold
    • keep constant scholar production and build mosques when required.
  • 4 villagers to berries (12 total)
  • TC gather point on wood until 25 villagers are on wood, then switch back to food.
  • Build an archery range, garrison a scholar and start producing archers

Continuing to 200 pop priority list:

  • Refresh lumber camps when you have the wood.
  • Anticipate your food running out and a 2nd berry patch and deer. it’s not the end of the world if you need to add some farms,
  • 2nd archery range (with garrisoned a scholar) when you can afford it
  • Once you have resources, build 1-2 blacksmiths. In real games I often idle my archery range briefly to get a blacksmith out earlier
  • If/when you have extra food, add a horseman.

Screenshot for proof:


im going to give it a go, but hazarding a guess these horsemen are arriving incredibly late v any form of rush, looking at how late you go to gold

the average build puts vils 8/9 on gold compared to that you’re super late on top of having spent gold on forestry

but not sure this is any form or way of proof for an average game where the opponent will more than likely be interfering with your builds

yeah the screenshot doesn’t add a lot, just added it because I had it.

The goal of the early horsemen is to counter an archer rush, I’ve found you usually have 4 horsemen in time to catch their archers in the middle of the map (6:10). If the opponent opens with a spear archer combo you should get archers before their rush arrives or they won’t have enough archers to do damage with their rush.

vs early knights it’s better to not go stable and instead open with spears in the dark age.

Also note that all techs are free for Dehli so you aren’t spending any gold.

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Nice build order list. While Delhi isn’t my Kettle of Joe, it does seem interesting.

sorry yeah that was a brain fart on my side

ive seen a number of arguments for and against this. similar to other games(aoe2), pikes are quite a debatable response to knights due to the level of micro required to use them properly ( area control + bracing)

i tried the build now and i see the key was the scholar boosting production 100%. i initially thought the build might have too much vils on wood, but it worked out in the end, with the rate that berries bring in food v the wood cutters. seemed to work well. will try it again for sure.

currently im not aiming to get 200 pop, but mainly as an option for opening since delhi seems to need a different opening to the usual 2 on gold, rest on food to keep up with civs like france. and this might work

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Yeah in reality this is what this build equates to; a quick way to get military on the map while setting yourself up for sustained military production.

Thanks for trying it out!

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thanks for posting it, im bad at thinking up my own builds, and wouldnt have thought of trying to go wood first as it seems counter intuitive, ill see if somehow i can fine tune it, so ill play it some more.

my initial feeling is i feel there is a tad bit too much wood pre feudal age for a stables build (before i can build my stable) but that could very likely be me getting the gold too late to age. or maybe its meant for the 2nd mill?

with normal builds you have 400 f as you reach 200 g, with yours i found i had more food than gold. and excess wood

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yeah, you can start with 2 villagers on wood and add a third after you put 5 on gold. I didn’t math it out so there will be little surplus at all points.

The 3 on wood start comes from the dark age spear rush variation that I run against the French. In that variation the extra food and wood gets spent on spearmen and a barracks. I don’t add a second mill until my berries have run out and my sheep are starting to get low.

cool yeah makes sense.

so ive been using it a few times now and i usually go 2 on wood unless im going for a rax. and even then im still debating whether spears are a balanced response at this point(i think they might need a buff before they are worthwhile), as opposed to trying to counter raid with horses to force the opponent into defending as opposed to attacking

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